Somebody just threw that stat at me the other day. Six pinche percent. I don’t know where they got that number or whether it was an accurate study. Some disc jockey threw it out there in the middle of a one-hour commercial-free non-stop jamming session. And this person saved that information just for me.
Now, I don’t think it was the motivating you’re-one-in-a-million-kind-of-encouraging-you-can-do-it sentiment that made them tell me. It was more of a as-a-matter-of-fact kind of statement. It was a I-don’t-know-if-you’re-aware-but-this-is-going-to-be-almost-impossible kind of statement.
Yeah. I was aware. I got the memo. No need to rub it in.
All my fellow struggling writers know the percentage is low. But we have passion. Even when we get rejection letters at the end of the week and we drown ourselves in chocolate and Lambic Framboise we still have passion, it’s just regrouping.
And that’s the key: Keeping the passion and continuing to aim higher.
This was the next phase of my happiness project. As you recall, phase one dealt with my physical, spiritual, and mental wellness. Making little changes and sticking to my daily plan seemed to be helping me out. Now I wasn’t happy all day, everyday, but I had moments. And at the end of the day I tried to recollect these instances and hang on. Sometimes it worked, other times I turned to HBO as a distraction. I’m not crazy Mary Poppins happy yet, but I’m less miserable. And I wanted to apply that to another important facet of my life.
My career. Writing.
But you need a little misery for this gig. You need some of that to be a good writer. You learn to find the lighter moments during the crappy existences just so you can get through it. At least that’s what I tell myself when I’m at the bottom — trying to squeeze out that juice from those lemons life left for me. But you also need sweetness, otherwise you just got cloudy lemon water and not lemonade.
One of the ongoing sour moments has been my failure in reaching the sixth percentile. The Successful Writer. The published one, or the one that sees her spec script on television. Either dream is fine by me. Both would be awesome. But let’s not crazy, I’m not Tina Fey … yet.
In order to get to six percent and Tina Fey status, I needed to continue fueling energy, creativity, and discipline. Well I also hear that luck and opportunity meeting at the same time rocks your career world. But I have yet to be at that intersection. I keep missing the bus.
So I’ve decided to concentrate on these factors — the ones I could control — during phase two of my happiness project. It’s only understandable that your career should be something that you’re happy with, you spend a lot of time doing it, might as well be happy right?
But I’ve already taken step one and I didn’t even know it at the time. I’m well on my way to the creative part. Even before I read Rubin’s book, I started a blog. And I know it’s only been about six months, but I can tell I’m a better writer now, than I was six months ago. Writing every day challenges my creative juices, and being challenged only makes you a better writer. So blogging has already helped me in phase two.
However I’ve got to get those creative juices into my fiction and press forward with finishing my second novel. The first one has yet to be published, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be. Just gotta keep trying. Aim high, right?
But the second novel, the one I’ve been working on for a while … that one is more me. And the creative juices must continue working on that. I can’t get to six percent, unless I finish, right?
Mission this month: Career. Aim High. Six Percent High. Tina Fey High.
How do I get there? Objectives.
This week’s objective: staying creative.
How am I going to do that?
Keep on blogging, so far, so good. It’s helped fine tune my voice. It’s also helped me live a little more so that I have something to write about. It’s helped me dig deep down into my adolescent and college experiences. It’s helped me use life — the good, the bad, and the ugly — in a more creative way. Sometimes bringing humor.
Step two: Write a chapter once a week so that I can finish the novel and start getting new rejection letters.
Step three: Keep reading blogs. I’ve discovered so many good writers out there. The more I read, the better I become. I remember my own experiences and flashbacks. This becomes the fuel for new stories.
The more I read, watch, and live, the more creative I’ll be … at least that’s the plan. We’ll see how it goes.
- Happiness Project Update 4: Listening to my GPS and Getting More Branches on the Tree (thewishfactor.wordpress.com)
- Happiness Project Update: I Don’t Fit Into Skinny Jeans, But I’m O.K. With That. I’m an Athlete With Curves. (thewishfactor.wordpress.com)
- Happiness Project Update: Squeezing Every Drop of Juice Out of The Lemon (thewishfactor.wordpress.com)